Cleveland has been busy this off-season. Not only did they get Johnny Football playing down the street, but LeBron James came back home…and brought some of his friends with him. Kevin Love, Shawn Marion and Mike Miller all tagged along in hopes of winning a ring in Cleveland.
In order for Cleveland to get their new crew, they had to trade the last two #1 overall picks (Anthony Bennett & Andrew Wiggins) and shed a handful of contracts for pennies on the dollar. They clearly love their roster and hope it is good enough to win the city’s first professional championship since Jim Brown won an NFL Championship with the Browns.
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 33-49
Key Additions: SF LeBron James, PF Kevin Love, SF Shawn Marion, SF Mike Miller, C Brendan Haywood, SF James Jones, C Alex Kirk, PG A.J. Price, PG Chris Crawford, PF Lou Amundson, SF Shane Edwards & SG Joe Harris
Key Losses: SF Luol Deng, PF Spencer Hawes, SF C.J. Miles, PG Jarrett Jack, C Tyler Zeller, PF Anthony Bennett, SF Alonzo Gee & SG Sergey Karasev
Projected Starters: Anderson Varejao, Kevin Love, LeBron James, Dion Waiters & Kyrie Irving
Fantasy Sleeper: PF Tristan Thompson – Thompson currently finds himself as Kevin Love’s backup. He will get double-digit minutes in relief, but I’m circling Thompson as a sleeper because Anderson Varejao’s inability to stay healthy. I would actually love to see a Thompson/Love front-court duo. I want to see what they can do together on the court. Thompson has improved each season and we have not seen the best of him. He’s only 23 years old and he could either turn into a star for Cleveland or a fantastic trade piece.
Team Analysis: LeBron James came home and Cleveland is now guaranteed to win a championship, right? Well, not so fast. The first year LeBron/D-Wade/Bosh were together in Miami, they lost to Dallas in the NBA Finals. Let’s remember that neither Kevin Love nor Kyrie Irving have played a single minute in the playoffs in their careers. A championship is not a given.
Cleveland will go as far as LeBron’s supporting cast will take them. He can’t do it himself. The regular season should give them home-court advantage, but Chicago will be right on their tail.
I will certainly watch as many Cleveland games I can this season. I am curious to see how Dion Waiters fits into the overall scheme. He only thrives with the ball in his hands. His season will either be boom or bust.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 59 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 58-24 (1st in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.